Congressional Challenger Makes Stop in Unalaska

Thursday, September 11 2014

Skip Southworth, Forrest Dunbar and Dennis Robinson talk politics at Unalaska's Burma Road Chapel. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)

The Democrat who’s running to unseat U.S. Rep. Don Young was in Unalaska this week, trying to build a base of support.

Forrest Dunbar met a handful of constituents and local leaders at a forum Monday night.

Turnout was low, but Dunbar wasn’t discouraged: "It’s really important to me, coming from a rural background … to get off the road system and go to smaller communities and go to the hub communities," he said Monday.

Coast Guard Conducts Medevac from Freighter Near Unalaska

Wednesday, September 10 2014

The Lowlands Maine (Courtesy: Claus Schafe/

A Coast Guard crew medevacked a mariner with an injured hand off a freighter south of Unalaska Wednesday.

The cutter Alex Haley responded to the request from the 738-foot Lowlands Maine. It's Panama-flagged vessel that was on its way from China to the Seattle area.

A 55-year-old crew member on the ship had hurt his hand in the engine room and needed medical treatment, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Testimony Begins in Murder Trial

Wednesday, September 10 2014

Testimony began Wednesday in the jury trial of two men accused of beating a former coworker to death outside an Unalaska bunkhouse.

Leonardo Bongolto, Jr., 36, and Denison Soria, 42, are charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault in the death of 55-year-old Jonathan Adams in Feb. 2012.

The three men were seafood processors at Bering Fisheries at the time, living in bunkhouses on Gilman Road.

Council Approves New Contractor Criteria

Wednesday, September 10 2014

City council approved new policies for hiring contractors at a short meeting last night.

The code changes give the city new tools to rule out low bidders when choosing companies to do city projects.

Councilor Dave Gregory took issue with one section that lets council consider whether a contractor has unresolved disputes with the city. The language would let council use that as their sole criteria in choosing to go with a different company. Gregory thought that could lead to conflict.

Council to Vote on New Contractor Criteria

Tuesday, September 09 2014

City council will hold a public hearing tonight on expanding their powers for hiring contractors other than the lowest bidders.

The ordinance would let council consider new factors when picking contractors for city projects -- anything from whether a company’s caused problems for staff in the past, to whether they have a tendency to submit expensive change orders.

Councilors favored the ordinance when it first came up in late August. They’ll take a final vote after the hearing tonight.

Trial Tests Unalaska's New Year-Long Jury Term

Monday, September 08 2014

Jury selection will continue this week in the trial of two men accused of beating a co-worker to death in 2012.

It’s the first real test of Unalaska’s new year-long jury pool, which took effect in January.

Statewide jury coordinator Patricia Young says the change has been good news in a town where potential jurors don’t always stay put -- and where big trials aren’t very common.

"It’s a high-profile case," she says. "You know you’re going to need a lot of people because the potential for a lot of people to be excused is great."

City Could Face Fines For Wastewater Plant Delays

Friday, September 05 2014

The city of Unalaska is falling behind on construction of a new wastewater treatment plant -- and they could face up to $200,000 in federal fines as a result.

The city’s supposed to have the plant’s chlorination and dechlorination system online by the end of the year.

In mid-November, the city is supposed to make a formal request to Alaska regulators to start operating that system.

Aleutians Risk Assessment Unveils Spill Prevention Plan

Wednesday, September 03 2014

The Selendang Ayu broke apart a decade ago just off Unalaska Island. (Courtesy: USCG)

For years, shipping safety advocates have called for better protections against oil spills in the Aleutian chain. Now, the plan for a new prevention and response system is finally finished.

The new draft report from the Aleutian Islands Risk Assessment recommends some familiar solutions in new places – all at a cost of almost $14 million a year.

Brief Power Outage Puts Valley in the Dark

Wednesday, September 03 2014

Part of Unalaska went dark early this morning after a malfunction at the powerhouse.

Public Utilities Director Dan Winters says the power outage only affected the Unalaska side -- stretching from the valley neighborhood to Captains Bay Rd.

That area lost power just after 6 a.m., after a cooling pipe broke on one of the engines at the powerhouse.

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